BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, December 10, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Two years after South Sudan’s independence, MEPs call on the EU and the international partners to maintain their commitment to development and state-building and to human security for all South-Sudanese people, in a resolution passed on Tuesday. MEPs call also on the South Sudanese authorities to continue the efforts towards full establishment of the constitutional order and the rule of law and organisation of free and democratic elections in 2015.
“The EU is a vital partner for South Sudan’s economic development and for the capacity-building of state institutions, as the country lacks in almost every basic social service such as health and education,” said the rapporteur, Véronique De Keyser (S&D, BE). “The EU should also encourage South Sudan to ratify the Cotonou Agreement and to replace the Transitional Constitution with a permanent constitution based on popular consultation,” she added, stressing that “human rights must be respected now more than ever, upholding the rights of children is of the utmost importance.”
Sudan and South Sudan should “make best use of the wealth and potential” of the oil resources in the region, MEPs call, adding that support mechanisms are necessary for “a proper and transparent distribution and management of oil revenues”. MEPs ask the EU to renew the mandate of the Special Representative for Sudan and South Sudan, which would increase the leverage of the EU and the Member States.
MEPs welcome the EU’s development aid of EUR 285 million committed to South Sudan since its independence two years ago and support the focus of this aid on agriculture, democratic governance and the rule of law, education and health. They further add that the implementation of laws and regulations already in place is lagging behind, welcoming the EU’s efforts to support the capacity-building of the legal system.
“The harassment of human rights activists and journalists and the unlawful detention and censorship of journalists” should end, say MEPs, urging the South Sudanese authorities “to carry out prompt, effective and impartial investigations into all allegations” of such acts and “to hold those responsible to account”.